Book of DANIEL

Compiled by WD Kemner January 2024






Daniel Chapter 1 verses 1-2


In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.




Jehoiakim was King of Judah when Nebuchadnezzar came in and carried the King and captives to Babylon. This event is chronicled in II Kings 24:10-17.


Map of Babylonian Empire about 560 BC

Map of the Babylonian Empire 560 B.C. (source: public domain)




Daniel Chapter 1 verses 3-4


And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.




This group was selected out of all the captives taken. There is nothing here that indicates that this was inclusive of only the Jews.  There may well have been captives from many nations.


They selected children that met specific criteria to “teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans”. The criteria: no blemish, skillful in wisdom, cunning in knowledge, understanding science. The best and the brightest were given an opportunity by their captors to learn the knowledge and language of their captors.


God had allowed the Jews to go into captivity BUT he also put them in a place where they had an opportunity to learn from the world’s leading society of that day.



The Jewish Historian Josephus states in his Complete Works Volume X Chapter X that:


 “..the most noble of the Jews that were children, and the kinsmen of Zedekiah their king….”


 “Now among these there were four of the family of Zedekiah…Daniel, another Ananias, another Misael, and the fourth Azarias…Daniel he called Baltasar; Ananias, Shadrach; Misael, Meshach; and Azarias, Abednego.”



According to Josephus the four were close relatives of the Jewish King and even members of the King’s family.



Daniel Chapter 1 verse 5


And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.




“…of the Kings meat, and of the wine which he drank…”


The king was giving them the “best of” for a period of three years to make them “fit and healthy”. They were not going to get “what everybody else ate” but only food and drink fit for the king. They were being groomed for royalty status.



Daniel Chapter 1 verses 6-7


Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.




Given new Babylonian Names.



Daniel Chapter 1 verses 8-13


But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.


Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.


Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.




“Daniel purposed in his heart”.  It appears that this included his Jewish name; for Daniel never used the Babylonian one. 


Daniel had “favor” with his superiors.  This was just the beginning of the many accounts that describe Daniel in this manner. What was there about him that created this? Maybe Daniel should be a model for emulating his character traits.



Daniel Chapter 1 verses 14-16


So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.




Daniel and friends requested and were allowed to demonstrate and prove by testing that their diet would be better than what was offered. They proved themselves. They had courage to stand alone for their convictions and beliefs.



Daniel Chapter 1 verses 17-20


As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.


And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.




When brought before the king, Daniel and his friends excelled ten times beyond the magicians and astrologers in the kingdom. Their chosen diet, which had been established long before by God was of far more benefit than the best the royal table could provide.



Daniel Chapter 1 verse 21


And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.




What a testimony.  It would be almost 65 years until Cyrus takes over Babylon.